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Daoism in Early China

Huang-Lao Thought in Light of Excavated Texts

  • Written by nationally recognized scholar in Huang-Lao Daoism · Provides foreign sinologists with rich materials to study Daoism, Huang-Lao Daoism and excavated documents · Expertly examines the Mawangdui silk texts and the Guodian Chu bamboo slips


About this book


This text considers the prevalence of Lao-Zhuang Daoism and Huang-Lao Daoism in late pre-imperial and early imperial Chinese traditional thought. The author uses unique excavated documents and literature to explore the Huang-Lao tradition of Daoist philosophy, which exerted a great influence on China ancient philosophy and political theories, from the Pre-Qin period to the Wei-Jin periods. It explains the original and significance of Huang-Lao Daoism, its history and fundamental characteristics, notably discussing the two sides of Huang-Lao, namely the role and function of Lao Zi and the Yellow Emperor, and discusses why the two can constitute a complementary relationship.  It also provides a key study of the Mawangdui silk texts, bamboo slips of the Heng Xian, Fan Wu Liu Xing, considering both the theory of human Xing and of Qi.


Lao-Zhuang Daoism and Huang-Lao Daoism in China imperial Chinese traditional thought China ancient philosophy and political theory Mawangdui silk texts bamboo slips of the Heng Xian Fan Wu Liu Xing theory of human Xing and of Qi Guodian Chu bamboo slips

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Renmin University of ChinaBeijingChina

About the authors

Dr Feng Cao is Professor at Renmin University of China. He received his PhD from Tokyo University, and held professorships at both Shandong University and Tsinghua University in China. His research focuses on early Chinese philosophy, notably Taoism and the study of excavated documents.

Bibliographic information